Sunday, September 6, 2020

handling an open-sweep hook knife blade from wood-tools.co.uk

Hoo Boy, a gorgeous hook knife blade arrived yesterday in the mail from robin wood et. al!
I take as little time as possible getting a handle glued up and didn't even think to show construction fotos, but imagine making a thin relief using a chisel and a router plane for the blade shank into 2 1/2" thick pieces of padouk wood (just because it's reasonably hard and there was anerrant piece of it in the shop.

Use some 5 minute 2part epoxy and a few clamps to produce this rough piece

this is how i like to make my knife handles. maybe a little shorter than the handle that Wood-Tools makes, but it's a little thicker in the middle, where you typically apply a lot of force as you "roll" the knife blade towards you during spoon cutting. it fits my meat hooks fairly well. wood handles rule.
I love this quote. Mary Kondo isn't saying anything new, folks!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

lil' lodi apple wood serving spoon

only had one afternoon this weekend to make this little serving spoon. punches above weight in capacity, but s stubby handle. would be useful in a family style meal where there's a bowl of rice everyone digs into. This one is still a little thick and will be cleaned up a bit once the wood dries
Dad sent me another parcel of Lodi Apple wood segments. we disucssed the best way to divide up the pruning for maximal yield
it arrived cut up perfectly as discussed
I decided to dive into the stubby section, seeing 3 short but wide spoons if i cut the thing into 1/3rds well enough. My Ryoba rip teeth cut through the green long grain like i was slicing rare steak.
This was a hand-tool only endeavor and not just to be a Luddite. a quick series of stop cuts like this can then be easily broken off with a chisel to make a flat underside for a reference surface while holding the blank down on my lap table
I then roughed out the profile on the top of the spoon. this is the bark-side facing part of the split. The spoon is gonna be wide and scoopable. not much of a handle, but that's ok
and here it is after roughing out. Now to let it rest a few days before cleaning it up. seems to dry quickly

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Serving Spoons in Laurel wood

Dad sent a section of laurel from the farm years ago. I had it sitting in the garage staring at me like the velveteen rabbit all this time, not sure what to do with it until this weekend.

Forgot to take a pic of the whole section, but here's one half after ripping. about 3" in dia.

I think my favorite part about making spoons is at this moment where the profile (crank) is roughed out and you get to sort of let the wood tell you what shape it should take
But carving the outside of the bowl into facets is pretty fun, too. a sharp knife leaves a waxy smooth surface that is hard to beat
There were a few knots that I did not anticipate. so not much heavy lifting duty for these, but i loved the way the wood responded to carving. the wind in the wood's grain led me to these chicane handles.

Monday, April 27, 2020

thyme is in full bloom, driving neighboring bees crazy

sunny weekend drove my neighbor's bees wild. my thyme plants are in bloom and it was a total rave in front of my house. them honeybees really know how to party.
worked through my last billet of black walnut that L. Gandsey gave to me from his offcut pile. I like this wood for kitchen utensils: it's pretty durable, food inert, and is also not so difficult to carve (or at least not as hard as maple!)
the day's work produced 2 eating size spoons for my armada.
with the remaining elm, i made another one of my spoochulas, but i got a little too deep in the basin here :-). i'll try scabbing on a piece of something to fix it.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

carving from a lodi tree that i grew up with

countless helpings of apple sauce and pies made by mom originate from this one Lodi tree planted almost 50 years ago on mom and dad's farm. Dad sent me a few lengths from a recent pruning to try out. these were smaller ones, meant to test the wood for carving, and justify sending more.

my findings? yes, please keep 'em coming

the shorter section had the heart off center, so it allowed me to make a spoon with a fairly large bowl. this could be a serving spoon of some sort. the green wood is pleasant to carve. it cuts cleanly and also with much more ease than if it were dry
The aggresively crooked piece was a bit more challenging, with a knot off to one side the grain was a bit unstable. I kept at it with my 2-hander hook knife since it allows for a lot of power to be applied into the cut.
i don't think i'll be able to use this for general cooking practices, but it is a fun shape to have and i'll keep it around
close up of the bowl with a knot imparting lots of swirly grain.
the smaller piece yielded a delightful little spoon whose bowl punches above weight. i like how this one is turning out and will let it dry out a bit before finishing it.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

another spoon from some L. Gandsey offcuts

I had another blank/offcut from Lawrence Gandsey's shop in a wood that I haven't worked before but i _think_ it might be Elm? not sure. it's not quite as hard as maple, but it cleaves nice and clean with a sharp knife. the wood is a bit tawnier and caramel colored especially when you get a wax-smooth cut directly from your knives.

This shape of spoon, i call a "spoochula" because it is very useful in stir-frying vegetables off a flat bottom pan. it acts as a spatula but has a dish towards the back that allows you to scoop the cooked vegetables into a serving dish.

One of my Mora 106's on a leather strop that i made today from a cut of leather that Dad used for walls of the baby crib that all us kids spent time in. I usually use an 8000 waterstone for honing, but the strop is nice to have in the kit.
Today, I received a special package in the mail from dad containing a few sections of the Lodi apple tree he pruned back on the farm this week. This tree was planted when i was a toddler and has produced apples for 40 years. it's one of dad's favorite things.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

hummingbird spoon

this is kind of personal, but I don't really care anymore.

my best spoon, made a few weeks ago from curbside tree trimmings. the handle is so delicate. it is absurd!

I don't care, because i think about this spoon, with its fairly large bowl, and its diminutive handle, and how someone who's older and needs to be fed, how what is in the bowl of that spoon might be all they can handle today. a delicate handle for the spoon fosters delicate movement towards your mom's mouth, feeding her broth as she tries to fathom what has happened and why she is not able to get out of bed.

This is where the hummingbird spoon rests in the lavender bath. hope she's happy

jasmine from my trellis adorning a bronze head that uncle michael cast 'bout 20 years ago. dad's satellite sep bolt and uncle chris's laguiolle knife with ebony handle
a self portrait from a few months back
a few color/texture tests. i like them on the bedroom door. not much of anything but a decent hello
A design for a kinetic scultpure that looks like a flower and a propeller at the same time. but it would spin on an axis with some kind of bearing race. not quite a windmill, and not quite an airplane propeller, but at least understanding of Bernoulli's principle
The Sack-Back chair that i made in Curtis Buchannan's studio 2 years ago
another self portrait, at around: too early in the morning to be waking up
It is a rock, but a body worker gave this to me years ago as a heart health sentiment, because it does indeed look like a big strong, juicy heart and it does kind of look like mine in a way